January 2005

Faculty News

Dr. Dan Hahn joined the Gainesville faculty as an Assistant Professor specializing in Insect Physiology. His appointment is 50% research and 50% teaching with instruction responsibilities including a graduate course in insect physiology and graduate and undergraduate courses on selected topics in entomology and biology. Dan's research integrates physiology, biochemistry, and evolutionary ecology to address a range of questions in insect biology. Current topics of interest are: 1) physiological mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity in insects with a focus on diapause and reproduction, 2) regulation of metabolism and nutrient allocation in insects emphasizing the regulation of storage and subsequent utilization, 3) insects as model systems to study fertility, diabetes, and obesity. Dan received his B.S. from Florida State, his Ph.D. from University of Arizona, and comes to Gainesville from a postdoctoral fellowship at Ohio State. Dan is joined by his wife Jen, a biologist and science educator, and their toddler Ben.

Student News

On 12 December 2004, graduate student Ricky Vazquez was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves. He served as an enlisted Marine from 1989 to 1993, when he was a communications center operator. Now he is the medical entomologist for the 342nd Army Medical Detachment in Gainesville, but plans to go on active duty at the conclusion of his Ph.D. studies.

Olga Kostromytska is a new M.S. student working with Dr. Buss. Obviously, Olga is interested in landscape and turfgrass entomology, but she is specifically interested in white grubs, especially Tomarus subtropicus.

Staff News

Suzie Adams began work as a Fiscal Assistant in the business office during December. After a period of training, she will handle credit card payments and travel.

Alumni News

Jay Cee Turner, who received her M.S. working under Dr. Eileen Buss, will start working as a Biological Scientist for Dr. Oscar Liburd as of 10 January.


Branham M. (December 2004). Glow-worms, railroad-worms, Coleoptera: Phengodidae. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-332. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/beetles/glow-worms.htm

Crow WT, Welch JK. 2005. Root reductions of St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) and hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis) induced by Trichodorus obtusus and Paratrichodorus minor. Nematropica 34:31-37.

Crow WT. 2005. How bad are nematode problems on Florida's golf courses? Florida Turf Digest 22:10-12.

Crow WT. 2005. Biologically derived alternatives to Nemacur. Golf Course Management 73: 147-150.

Luc JE, Crow WT. 2004. Sting nematode: Not a steward of the environment. Golf Course Management 72:86-88.

Luc JE, Crow WT. 2004. Nematode and nitrogen management. Golf Course Management 72:97-100.

Crow WT. (2004). Plant-parasitic nematodes on sugarcane in Florida. EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN529

Madam Librarian

Tara Tobin Cataldo is the new Biological/Life Sciences Librarian at the Marston Science Library. She attended the December entomology and nematology faculty meeting and gave a presentation on changes at the library and the services they offer. Some of the information she presented is available at http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/msl/entfac.html. A listing of new books in biological science added by the Library is available at http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/msl/newbooksbio.html. You may contact Ms. Cataldo at (352) 392-2784 or tara@uflib.ufl.edu.

Expert Witness

For her M.S. degree, Sue Gruner conducted the largest forensic entomological decomposition study (to date) using pigs as human models. Over a four year period, sixty-nine pigs were placed out at Greathouse Butterfly Farm in Earleton, Florida. One of the first species of Calliphoridae to arrive at a corpse (in approximately 1/3 of the U.S.) is Lucilia (= Phaenicia) coeruleiviridis. When L. coeruleiviridis larval specimens are found at a crime scene, forensic entomologists historically have used the phenology from L. sericata, a closely related species, to determine time since death because there are no rearing data for L. coeruleiviridis. Successful rearing of this particular species of fly has eluded entomologists for decades, but Sue "discovered" a pupation substrate, using organic materials and a mulching machine, that resulted in successful rearing of thousands of adult specimens. In July 2004, Sue attended the Second Annual North American Forensic Entomology Conference held at UC-Davis, California, and presented her M.S. research data, which included information about the pupation substrate. Among the attendees were forensic entomologists from Europe, Australia, Canada and South America and Richard Merritt, president of the American Board of Forensic Entomologists (ABFE).

In October 2003, the body of an 11 year old girl, who had been missing for a month, was found behind an old, vacant factory in Cleveland, Ohio. As usual in many crime scenes, the police did not know what to do with the entomological evidence. A zoologist was hired to collect entomological specimens during the autopsy - evidence that should have been collected at the crime scene. The live larval specimens did not survive so the zoologist assumed they were L. coeruleiviridis. He also had some poorly preserved specimens in alcohol which were later identified by Neal Haskell (for the defense) as L. coeruleiviridis. On 6 December 2004, one of the prosecuting attorneys called Dr. Merritt to determine which ABFE member was the "expert" on L. coeruleiviridis. However, there being none, Dr. Merritt referred the prosecutor to Sue Gruner, who is an expert due to her research. Shortly thereafter, Sue flew to Cleveland where she testified for the first time as an "expert witness." Her testimony centered around the behavior and biology of L. coeruleiviridis.

Entomology Seminars

Graduate students Luis Matos, Sean McCann, Veronica Manrique and Murugesan Rangasamy are seminar coordinators. Seminars begin at 3:45 p.m. in room 1031, Entomology and Nematology (Bldg. 970).

Jan 13 - Dr. Marina Telonis-Scott, UF Zoology. "The genetics of adaptation to climatic stress desiccation in Drosophila melanogaster."

Jan 20 - Dr. Sanford Porter, USDA-ARS, Gainesville. "Fire ant biological control."

Jan 27 - Dr. Robert Wiedenmann, University of Illinois. "Ecological and physiological factors determining suitability of Cotesia flavipes-complex parasitoids."

Feb 3 - Dr. Michael E. Scharf, UF/IFAS. "Toxicology and termites? How functional genomics can be used to develop the termiticides of tomorrow."

Feb 10 - Dr. Paul Linser, UF Whitney Marine Laboratory. "The Molecular Physiology of the Larval Mosquito Gut"

Feb 17 - Dr. Bill Snyder, Washington State University. "Exploring the relationship between biodiversity and successful biological control."

Feb 24 - Dr. Geoffrey Zehnder, Clemson University, SC. "Alternative management strategies for aphid transmitted diseases in melons."

Mar 10 - Dr. Stephen Hight, USDA-ARS, FAMU. "The beast within: Management strategies for Cactoblastis cactorum in the U.S., a biological control agent turned invasive pest."

Mar 17 - Dr. David Reed, UF Zoology. "Of Lice and Men: The coevolutionary history of humans and their lice"

Mar 24 - Dr. May Berenbaum, University of Illinois. "Parsnip webworms and wild parsnips: Web sites on the evolutionary superhighway."

Mar 31 - Dr. Jaret Daniels, UF McGuire Center. "Ecology and conservation biology of the state- endangered Miami blue butterfly, Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)."

Apr 7 - Dr. Eric A. Schmelz, USDA-ARS, Gainesville. "Interactions at the plant-herbivore interface: insect elicitors, phytohormone signaling, and induced plant defense responses."

Apr 14 - Dr. John Hattle, University of North Florida. "Plasticity in long-term adult development in lubber grasshoppers."

Reading Room

The Reading Room committee once again reminds us that no one is allowed to take materials out of the reading room, and no one is allowed to take food or drink in. You are also reminded that Reading Room users are monitored on closed-circuit TV, so wave and say hi. In addition, the committee asks that you to tidy up after yourself before leaving the room. Those who wish to use the in-room copier should visit the stock room to get a PIN from Nick Hostettler.

Bug Quote

Caterpillar: Pilare is the Latin for "to grow hair" and gives an adjective pilosus, meaning "hairy." From this and their own word chat, a cat, the French formed chatepelose, "hairy cat," which may be compared to "wooly bear," the common name by which English children refer to the same fuzzy creature, the caterpillar. The French word, chatepelose, was in due course taken into English; but the significance of the latter part of the word was not recognized. It was actually confused with the stem of the old English word "to pill," meaning "to strip or plunder," the idea being that the caterpillar strips the bark (leaves? - ed.) off trees. This is the reason why the spelling of the word has departed so far from the French form. - from Thereby Hangs a Tale: Stories of Curious Word Origins by Charles Earle Funk

Fly-eating Robot

Scientists have developed a robot that powers itself by eating house flies, but they need some help determining the correct species of fly (as you will see in the photograph), let alone how to write the common name. CNN.com has the article at http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/12/27/explorers.ecobot/index.html.

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Send submissions to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues are published the middle of each month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

Printed copies are distributed only within Building 970. UF-Bugnews-l listserv subscribers receive notices when HTML and PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/ , which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Andy Koehler codes the HTML version.

January 2005.